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Authentic, Not Traditional.


Located in Shaw, Espita is exploring the food, drinks, and culture of southern Mexico

Driven by a quest to surface authentic flavors and techniques, Chef Rob Aikens is constantly pushing his team to research and create.  They fuel their creativity with inspiration from their many travels to Mexico, bringing home memories and people they want to honor with their food and drink.

We specialize in Oaxacan cuisine seen through the lens of the Mid-Atlantic.  You will not find traditional Oaxacan dishes here.  Instead you will find authentic Oaxacan flavors and techniques applied to the seasonal bounty of our region, creating a unique experience only available here. Come try DC’s best mole, tlayudas, & mezcal.

Shaw’s best Happy Hour

At Espita, we think Happy Hour specials should actually be special, so we offer our full selection of tacos discounted for the occasion, our “Mayahuel” (a.k.a. mezcal margarita) and perfectly made margaritas for half price, a shot + beer special, and an assortment of other delicious treats. Swing by after work (or dip out early) and say hi. We’re here for you. You deserve it.

Our happy hour is available wherever you feel comfortable: in our bar, on our heated patio, or in our dining room. You choose. Make a reservation below, or just stop in. 



Enjoy a cocktail from our award winning bar team led by James Simpson


Our collection of mezcal is constantly evolving as mezcal is made in small quantities.  We have over 100 different choices on our menu and many that are so hard to source that they never hit paper.  Talk to our team about their favorite expressions.  All mezcal is served in 1, 2, or 6 oz pours with an accompaniment of sal de gusano and oranges. 


James Simpson, Pedro Tobar, Jordan Utz, Joe Schilling, Justus Stanton, Ben Schwartz, Graeson Cully, Haley Gilbert

Call (202) 621-9695 from 2p – 10p daily, or book online with OpenTable.

Lunch (M-F) is first come first serve with no reservations available.

Accessibility Info:

Our main dining room is wheelchair accessible through our main entrance. There is a step, but also a ramp at the main entrance entrance. Since our patio is at a higher elevation than our dining room, to access the patio, there is an entrance from the street to the patio itself.

We are happy to accommodate service dogs in our dining room and patio. Please let us know in advance to ensure we have a table available with space for your companion. If you’d like a bowl of water for them, don’t hesitate to ask. We love pups!

Our bathrooms are gender neutral and one is fully ADA compliant with plenty of space to maneuver.

If you have a disability that needs special accommodation, we will do everything in our power to ensure you have a wonderful dining experience. Let us know in advance if possible, so we can ensure the best possible visit to our restaurant.